OCC TECH NEWS
August 1, 2014
Beats, which was cofounded by Jimmy Iovine and Dr. Dre and is comprised of Beats Electronics and Beats Music, has officially been acquired by Apple following the closing of a $3 billion deal. The deal itself was announced earlier this year in May, with the European Union providing final approval earlier this week. Within the deal closing announcement, Apple mentioned that it plans to elevate the experience that music provides listeners and is excited to work with individuals on the Beats team that are so enthusiastic about music. Apple did not disclose just exactly what it plans to do with Beats as a company going forward, however.
Originally entitled Incognita, the turn-based tactical espionage game Invisible, Inc. has been in paid alpha since September 2013. Since then, along with the name change this past January, developer Klei Entertainment has released twelve major updates to the game. On June 17, Klei announced that that it was temporarily suspending alpha purchases in preparation for its arrival on Steam Early Access and its biggest update yet. Today, Klei announced that Invisible, Inc. will be coming to Steam Early Access on August 19.
Klei Entertainment founder Jamie "Bigfoot" Cheng made the announcement today in a forum post and highlighted a few of the things the team has been working on for this major update. Invisible, Inc. now has a Mission Map that allows players to select their own locations. An Infinite Mode has also been added, which is as it sounds, allowing you build up your agency and survive as long as possible. The mainframe, Incognita, has received an overhaul with new abilities, and upgrading her will improve hacking efficiency. Lastly, Cheng promises a "huge amount of gameplay and visual improvements [including] dragging bodies, way better Line of Sight and cover visualization, huge improvements to the HUD, the aforementioned map, reusable items, hacking drones allows you to control them... and more."
Sadly, the Steam page isn't live yet, nor is there any new trailer at this time.
Source: Klei Entertainment via Facebook
Last week we learned that the re-imagining of the 1987 classic Shadowgate was finally set to arrive for Windows and Mac on August 21. Part of the re-imagining is an updated and expanded story complete with cut-scenes. Today, developer Zojoi released a cinematic trailer entitled "Talimar the Black", featuring gorgeous hand-painted sequences from the game. "The trailer unveils the malevolent [warlock] Talimar the Black, his fall from grace, and the power he seeks buried deep within the bowels of Castle Shadowgate." Players take on the role of "The Seed of Prophecy", who is the last hope to defeat this traitorous Warlock Lord.
Shadowgate is launching August 21 for Windows and Mac on Steam and other digital outlets, while the iOS and Android versions will launch Fall 2014. You can pre-order a Steam copy from the official site for $14.99 (25% off), with additional options available with extra goodies.
Source: Press Release
They say one should not judge a book by its cover, and that is definitely true of some materials as well. Topological insulators (TIs) are interesting materials that will conduct electrons across their surfaces, but not through their insulating volumes, which leads to some curious electrical properties. It has recently been confirmed by researchers at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne, the Paul Scherrer Institute, and the Chinese Academy of Science that one material hoped to be TI is one, but with some very special properties.
Samarium hexaboride (SmB6) has been theorized to be a TI for some time, but the reasons behind it are slightly different from others. The bulk of SmB6 is an insulator due to the Kondo effect, which causes electrons to scatter in a material due to temperature. It also has the effect of protecting electron currents from being disturbed by irregularities in a material. This means that a topological Kondo insulator would be very robust and efficient, even compared to other TIs that can conduct electricity on their surfaces with minimal resistance. To confirm SmB6 is a topological insulator, the researchers fired photons at it with enough energy to knock electrons off of it. These electrons were then measured to provide information on the TI.
One of the reasons topological insulators are of such interest is that electrons traveling on their surface preserve their spin, an intrinsic characteristic giving electrons their magnetic properties. The hope is that computers could one day be built that operate on electronic spin, instead of electronic charge, and TIs will likely help make that possible.